If your family gets most of its groceries from a supermarket then it might be time to turn ‘management speak’ on its head and start thinking inside the box! Vegetable (and meat) boxes are a modern take on an old fashioned idea. By giving you access to local food providers you can support independent enterprises while guaranteeing you get the freshest seasonal produce. It also cuts right down on the time you spend shopping, since you can get the produce delivered to your door every week. Getting a veg box also makes a great way to teach kids about how their choice of food can actively aid the environment. The boxes can help kids reconnect with the idea of ‘real’ food rather than the pre-packaged products found at the supermarket.
Ordering a regular veg box is sometimes like entering a family version of ‘Ready Steady Cook’ – you have to work with the vegetables you receive! Get your kids involved in the ‘ordering’ stage and let them help work out what you’re going to have delivered this week. That way they can learn the importance of planning a weekly shop, an ability which will serve them well when they hit university. Remind them that they have to work to a budget, and that most meals should include leftovers they can save for another day.
Discovering New Recipes
OK – so most kids will have an idea of how they can use carrots and potatoes in the kitchen – but how about more exotic fare? If they haven’t come across kale before then now might be the time to test their taste buds. When the veg box arrives challenge your children to find some tasty recipes that use all the ingredients. The internet might be the natural place to start, but you can make things more interesting by restricting their hunt to cook books. If you need some inspiration, all good veg box providers should supply a leaflet featuring suggested recipes, or a recipe section on their website.
Learning About Seasonal Food
In modern society consumer demand means that they we can eat our favourite food year-round without worrying about the season. But, as your kids will realise when they taste local strawberries during summer or onions in winter, food eaten in season simply tastes better. Because a veg box makes the most of seasonal food, your kids will soon learn what time of the year is best to enjoy certain produce.
Learning What ‘Local’ Really Means
When kids learn that the apple they have in their lunchbox come all the way from Egypt, they are often justifiably confused. After all – why can’t they pick one from the apple trees just down the road? Since veg boxes use local producers children can learn about where their food really comes from. It’s worth looking up local growers on the internet too. Sometimes they offer guided tours during the summer holidays.
If you’re interested about getting a regular veg box delivery for your family, but are worried about the expense, then get in contact with your local provider. Since the credit crunch many companies are offering excellent introductory deals and discounts. In many cases, the food actually comes out cheaper than what’s on offer at your local supermarket.